FMTW Meeting Minutes 01 July 2022

Chair: Josie Underwood

Minutes: Alistair Cope

Present: Paul Carey Jones, Freddie Crossley, Jake Orr, Emma Jayne Parks, Vicki Mortimer, Tash Hyman, 

Apologies: Paule Constable

  1. Welcome & introductions 


The drinks trolly went around again. Lots of negronis on order along with some caffeinated beverages. 

Our anti-racism statement was read out and values 8 and 10 were read out loud.

  1. Tash and Beth Job Juggling report (9.40-10.00)

We will be joined by Tash and Beth to discuss their survey report: 

Tash and Beth talked us through their report. The ‘Creative Freelancers – shaping London’s Recovery’ run by FUEL. Beth and Tash did research around ‘job juggling’ looking at the broader picture of  people’s lives. A survey was conducted to collect experiences and some topline data looking at the creative and non-creative job overlaps that many people in our industry have. 

The report ended up having to be very small to fit into the overall project report for FFSLR. 

They are looking for ways to spread the research wider via FMTW.

EJ- There are many ways we can support this via FMTW. Hosting the report on the website, creating social media assets etc.

Al- Absolutely. We can really use this and partner with you going forward to perhaps pull much of this data and questioning into further Big Freelancer Surveys. Have you approached The Stage?

VM – We also have 6 weekly meetings with DCMS and this is the sort of data we’d like to share with them. It is an open door meeting so you are welcome attend.

EJ – EWhat would you like to do with report?

Tash – SO far, we’ve just been trying to continue the conversation around it. We are partnered with orgs through the programme so we can talk to them abou how they can support. They want to (because they signed up to the programme). Having it hosted in a public space is the first goal but we also want to be involved in the conversations around it going forward.  There is a big recommendation about Union collaboration in the report that we really want to explore.

Beth – This is impacting creative freelancers across the arts. Not just theatre. It is broad (including education and hospitality etc) and it speaks to drawing a parallel between freelancers and the casual workforce. We looked into problems faced by uni lecturers who aren’t on proper full time contracts and there are lots of parallels of causes but also personal. A lecturer might also be an actor etc. People asking, ‘do I need to join three different unions’ etc. 

EJ – It would be great to turn this type of research into some sort of workshop to deliver to the freelance community too.

Next steps. A group to gather around this next week to talk next steps. Meeting request incoming.

Agenda points 

  • Workshops (JU)
    • NPO/organisation training (funded by NPOs/orgs)
    • regional in-person workshops (funded by NPOs/orgs)
    • online workshops (funded by FMTW/ACE)

Josie and Al met to discuss future workshops. We have been given some money to support ‘Adult and young people training.’ We feel we could put this towards future workshops.

We also had a meeting with the Big 12 about funding. They are happy to fund us but only on project specific work that will benefit their regions.

The symposium team are running an ‘outsourcing the freelance problem’ pilot next week. Training some freelancers within and NPO to be able to go back to their organisations to help open conversation/dialogue about the freelance situation and help join some dots between freelancers and orgs. 

Al – all the above aligns with our aims document. Listening, supporting, amplifying and connecting.

EJ – We must also make sure that employers are trained too. It can’t just be training up the freelancers to survive in an NPO. 

Vicki – in the symposium this week there was a lot of talk of ‘flipping it.’ Showing organisations what it is like to be a freelancer.

Jake – Yes, it is about ‘them’ skilling up too. So much of what we are talking about now is forming a strategy. It feels like a programme of work is a great and clear path. Also helps us with any ‘asks’ we have. 

  • Opportunities portal (AC)

The ABTT Theatre laid bare the amount of employers looking for freelancers. We are not a jobs portal and shouldn’t be, but is there space for us hosting freelancer friendly opportunities. It would be our job to encourage the employers to become freelance friendly in orde for us to host their opportunity.

Lots to discussion around the pros and cons of this and there needs to be a lot more discussion around it but there is definitely an idea there about shifting the responsibility to employers to be better with their freelancers. 

Example of something similar here: (via Freddie)

  • Big Freelance Survey (JU/PCJ/AC)
    • Anyone else interested in going through the data
    • Years of experience grouping
    • Topline qualitative data – Zoom with Melissa offer

Great meeting yesterday and good date now being processed.

Is anyone else interested in helping us go through the data?

There is so much data, we need a few more eyes on it.

Melissa has offered us training into how to process qualitative data. 

How do we define early, mid career workers? We asked for the number of years people have worked in the industry so how do we find the categories for these?

Maybe we just stick with the numbers? 1-5 years, 6-15 years. 16 years + etc.

Next year we could ask how people self identify in terms of where they are in their career.

Action points

  • Arrange meeting with Tash and Beth to talk next steps with their report – josie to coordinate. 
  • Pilot programme for outsourcing the freelance problem – Jake, EJ, Freddie
  • Discussion around future training (online) to continue. 
  • Smaller working group around the opportunities board. 
  • Feed back to the survey group that we break down the categories in years rather than early, mid etc. 
  • Newsletter to be supplied by Melissa about BFS2.